“And forgive us our debts” – Q&A #1

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And Love is reflected in love;

Question: What does “forgive” mean?

Answer: Forgive means to get over something that has been done to us or another that we feel is wrong. We let the offense pass without punishment, and try to forget it. However, when used with the term debt, forgive means to cancel something that is owed. For instance, if you borrow money from someone, you are now a debtor. If you are unable to pay back the money, you might ask that the debt be forgiven. In our lives, no matter what kind of debt is owed, forgiveness means to let go of something we think is owed to us. It is showing mercy.

Forgiveness is an important teaching of many religions, including Christianity. Jesus once
instructed his disciples:

“And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25, 26)

We do not forgive others just so we can get God’s mercy. When we study the life of Jesus,
and all the cruelties he had to forgive, we see that forgiveness sometimes requires great
sacrifice. To reach that level of unselfed love, we have to work at developing a loving attitude that fills our heart all the time. Paul once wrote:

“Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as
God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Eph. 4:31,32) 

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Forgive #1

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